Pilanesberg National Park safari game drive

The malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park borders the Sun City entertainment complex and is about a 2-hour drive from Johannesburg; consequently; the closest Big 5 safari from Johannesburg.

Pilanesberg National Park is in the North West Province. The park has more than 7 000 animals including 24 of the larger species.

About Pilanesberg National Park

The crater of a long-extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg National Park. A fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature.

Pilanesberg has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites; which are scattered; throughout the park.

The park exists within a transition zone; between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation; commonly referred to as “Bushveld”. Unlike any other large park; unique overlaps of mammals, birds, and vegetation occur; because of this transition zone. Here are koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld and also; rolling grasslands, and lightly wooded areas.

Off the center of the park is Thabayadiotso, “the Proud Mountain”. The Park is; in fact, the fourth largest national park in South Africa and covers an area of 55 000 hectares. The large central lake; the Mankwe Dam reflects the beauty of Pilanesberg. The colorful hues, varied habitats, and panoramas will delight and entertain photographers and visitors.

Activities at Pilanesberg National Park

The park is home to healthy populations of lions, leopards, black and white rhinos, elephants, and buffalo; Africa’s “Big Five”.

A wide variety of rare and common species exist; with endemic species like the nocturnal brown hyena, the fleet-footed cheetah, the majestic sable, as well as; giraffe, zebra, hippo, and crocodile; to mention but a few.

Bird watching is excellent; with over 300 species recorded. Some are migrants; others permanent inhabitants; some eat carrion or live prey; others eat seeds, fruit, or tiny water organisms.

There are nearly 200 kilometers of excellent roads for either self-drives (where you hire a vehicle to drive yourself); or guided drives (with game drive vehicle and driver/guide); with professional guides.

Hot Air Balloon safari in Pilanesberg
Hot Air Balloon safari in Pilanesberg

Additionally; Hot Air Balloon safaris are on offer; this is the only operation in South Africa to launch from within a National Park.

Pilanesberg Accommodation

There are many different accommodation options; so you will find Pilanesberg a great safari destination; that is ideal for families; due to it being malaria-free. Combine your safari with Sun City; to make an unforgettable experience.